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The AR-10 is a staple in the realm of semi-automatic rifles chambered in .308.
It’s essentially an AR-15 that fires a beefier round. This is handy because some parts are interchangeable between an AR-15 and an AR-10—depending on the brand—and the ergonomics are virtually the same between the two rifles.
Since the platforms are fairly similar, there are nearly as many options to choose from in an AR-10 as there are in an AR-15. And the potential customizations and upgrades are nearly as limitless.
Therefore, an AR-10 is a natural addition to any AR-15 owner’s collection. And especially for those who need the added power of the .308 round for long range shots or hunting. An AR-10 fills the space between an AR-15 and a bolt action rifle.
The good news is that choosing an AR-10 is the same as choosing an AR-15. We’ve covered that pretty thoroughly in our post on the best AR-15s.
So we’ll hop straight to talking about the rifles in this post.
But first, spoiler alert.
Our Best Choice
Windham Weaponry R18FSFST
If you want to skip the reviews and head straight to the buying part, the best AR-10 in this article is the Windham Weaponry R18FSFST. You’ll get the most value and versatility from this rifle.
Best AR-10 Reviews
We’ll start with the best overall purchase, and move along to the rifles that shine in specific areas.
1. Windham Weaponry R18FSFST: Best Value AR-10
Windham Weaponry is a fairly new firearms manufacturer. However, the company was started by Bushmaster employees when Bushmaster was sold and moved to a different city. So they have a lot of firearms building expertise, despite their short history.
The Windham Weaponry R18FSFST is one of the first AR-10 rifles to use a polymer lower receiver. Many other companies (including Bushmaster) have followed suit in using polymer lower receivers.
The R18FSFST perhaps makes the best use of the polymer lower receiver. The weight is just 7.55 pounds. It’s an incredibly light rifle. Especially considering that it’s equipped with an 18 inch barrel and a birdcage flash suppressor.
This means that the R18FSFST is still fairly easy to handle. But it takes better advantage of the extended range offered by the .308 cartridge than a 16 inch barrel.
Windham Weaponry also did away with the standard mil spec handguard and added a handguard with a rail on top and KeyMod attachment points.
The pistol grip is molded with better ergonomics than an A2 pistol grip. The R18FSFST is fitted with an adjustable 6 position stock. 6 positions is good adjustability. But the stock still has the ergonomics of standard A2 furniture.
Overall, the R18FSFST is a solid platform that most shooters could build on. The length is versatile enough that this rifle could serve as a tactical competition and hunting rifle.
2. DPMS Oracle: Best AR-10 on a Budget
The DPMS Oracle is one of the most common AR-10 rifles around. The main reason for this is the low price. There are very few AR-10 rifles that come in at a lower price point than the Oracle. It’s also carried by most gun shops and online gun stores, so you can find them just about anywhere.
Since there are no military specifications for AR-10s, many companies use their own parts and specs. However, DPMS uses standard AR-15 parts for as much of the Oracle as possible. So it’s an easy rifle to customize or repair yourself.
The lower receiver is milled from 7029 T6 billet aluminum. It’s not the highest grade aluminum on the market. But it definitely meets the military specifications.
DMPS fitted the Oracle with a 16 inch barrel, capped with a standard birdcage flash hider. This makes the Oracle very easy to handle. However, the shorter barrel means that this rifle is more of a carbine than a designated marksman rifle.
On the bright side, the shorter barrel reduces the weight a bit.
The upper receiver and gas block both have rails for iron sights or optics. But the handguard is basically a regular A2 handguard without any modern attachment points.
This brings us to the furniture. The grip is standard mil spec, and the stock is an upgraded 4 position stock. However, the ergonomics of the stock aren’t any better than a standard M4 stock. It’s apparent that DPMS reduced the cost by skimping on the furniture.
Although the Oracle isn’t a high end, long range rifle, it’s a great option for those looking for a carbine length AR-10 at a great price. Remember to figure in sights or optics as part of your costs, as the Oracle comes with no sights.
3. Bushmaster XM10: Best AR-10 for the Money
Bushmaster is one of the oldest names in AR-15 type rifles. The Bushmaster XM10 is a heavier version of their XM15.
One of the hallmarks of the XM line is that Bushmaster uses polymer lower receivers.
Polymer has been popular in pistols for decades. However, it’s only been adopted for rifle lower receivers in the last few years. Some people dislike polymer receivers. But they’ve proven to be reliable so far.
The polymer lower receiver reduces the weight. At 7.75 pounds, the XM10 is one of the lightest AR-10s on the market.
Polymer is also cheap to manufacture with. So using it enables Bushmaster to offer the XM10 at a very affordable price.
Bushmaster put a 16 inch barrel with a birdcage flash hider on the XM10, which puts it in the carbine category. However, the barrel is cold hammer forged and chrome lined for accuracy and durability.
Most of the XM10 is regular AR-10 hardware. However, the forward assist is built into the brass deflector for slightly better ergonomics.
All the furniture is standard mil spec. The upper receiver and gas block have rails for optics or iron sights.
Although the XM10 is a pretty no frills rifle, Bushmaster is known for producing high quality firearms with an emphasis on reliability. The XM10 is a good option for shooters with a limited budget who plan to use their AR-10 for competition.
4. Daniel Defense DD5 V2 308: Best AR-10 for Competition
Daniel Defense has become one of the most respected names in the AR-15 market. They’re known for building rock solid rifles that sport outstanding performance.
The Daniel Defense DD5 V2 308 is the .308 model of the company’s flagship rifle, the DDM4.
Daniel Defense built the DD5 to be a capable competitive rifle, right out of the box.
The DD5 features a handguard that does not contact the barrel nut. Instead, Daniel Defense attaches the handguard to the upper receiver with four bolts on the outside of the upper receiver.
This makes the upper receiver more rigid and eliminates any pressure on the barrel, which improves accuracy.
The handguard itself is a complete aluminum tube with KeyMod attachment points on all sides, and a rail on top. Attachments can be added virtually anywhere on this rifle.
Daniel Defense fitted the DD5 with an 18 inch, cold hammer forged barrel. The muzzle device is Daniel Defense’s proprietary Superior Suppression Device (SSD) which minimizes muzzle flash and reduces muzzle rise during rapid fire.
Since reliability is a big deal in the competition world, the bolt features enhanced extractor geometry and dual ejectors to reduce feeding and ejecting malfunctions.
The lower receiver is machined billet aluminum and features completely ambidextrous controls. The trigger guard is oversized for shooters who wear gloves. And the magazine well is flared to make your reloads faster.
To top everything off, the DD5 is fitted with a Geissele 2-stage trigger with a 2.5 pound take up and a 2 pound break. This is really what pushes the DD5 toward being a competition rifle.
All the furniture is proprietary Daniel Defense hardware that has rubber molding for added comfort and ergonomics.
Overall, the DD5 will do well in almost any context. Hunters could easily use this as their go-to semi-auto game gun. However, the DD5 really is designed for high end tactical performance. Shooters who compete in 3 gun or tactical rifle competitions will get the most value out of the DD5.
5. LWRC REPR MKII: Best AR-10 for Long Range
LWRC is all about quality and features. Their rifles are never short of incredible. And the LWRC REPR MKII is no exception.
The thing that stands out most is the barrel. The REPR sports a fluted 20 inch barrel. The fluting improves cooling and barrel rigidity. So the fluted barrel runs cooler and delivers better accuracy than a standard profile barrel.
LWRC capped the barrel with a muzzle brake to mitigate the .308 recoil so you can make faster follow up shots.
The handguard is fixed to the upper receiver with a proprietary locking design.
The handguard and upper receiver fit together with a tongue-and-groove style and lock in place with screws.
This keeps the handguard from putting any pressure on the barrel or barrel nut, and enhances accuracy.
Rail sections can be added anywhere on the handguard to really fine tune the placement of forend attachments.
The upper receiver is milled to reduce weight without sacrificing rigidity, and streamlined to reduce snagging. However, even with the milling to reduce weight, the fluted barrel and beefy handguard add a bit of weight. The REPR weighs in at 9 pounds.
LWRC also milled the lower receiver to reduce weight, and included ambidextrous controls for lefties. A Geissele SSA 2-stage trigger rests inside the lower receiver to help you get hits at long range.
The furniture is all Magpul MOE, which provides exceptional ergonomics, but no rubber molding like the DD5. LWRC also includes flip-up iron sights with the REPR, which makes this one of the most complete AR-10s available, since most come with no sights.
Overall, the REPR is an outstanding option for shooters who want long range accuracy in a semi-automatic rifle. Hunters will find that the REPR performs well in most hunting contexts. 3 gun and tactical competitors may find that the REPR is a bit too long and heavy to be a dedicated competition gun.
An AR-10 can be a bit tricky to place in the right position in your lineup.
They tend to be a bit too heavy for short range tactical use. And a bolt action rifle will perform better at extreme long ranges. So an AR-10 is usually best suited as a mid range rifle for contexts where you need fast follow up shots, with more power and range than you can get from your AR-15.
With this in mind, the best option for the majority of shooters is the Windham Weaponry R18FSFST.
It’s affordable enough that you’ll get good value from it, even if you only use it in a niche role. And the specs are versatile enough that it doesn’t confine itself to any particular niche.
No matter which AR-10 turns out to be the best for you, load up and get out there to pop off a few rounds.